Wednesday, April 18, 2012

What’s The Hold Up? by Martin Wiles

We were stuck, and it wasn’t the first time.

I’ve never lived in a large city, nor do I care too. Too many people going too many places all at the same time is my conclusion. But I’ve driven in a few, and almost invariably there is a commonality: traffic jams.

As I barrel down the interstate trying to keep up with traffic flow, suddenly entire lines of brake lights appear and everything comes to a screeching halt. Then I say the inevitable: “I wonder what the holdup is?” Horns honk. People weave in and out as if they can actually see what’s two miles ahead. Others fume, text, email and read. Regardless, I’m held up.

Jesus is approached by a rich religious leader who is too. He wants to know how to receive eternal life. Jesus spouts off a few commands to obey, the young man says he has, and then Jesus tells him; If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me. (Matthew 19:21) His leaving proved something was holding him up.

Wealth isn’t what holds me up- I’ve never had any. But it does some, and Jesus says it’s easier for a camel to pass through a needle’s eye than for a wealthy person to make heaven.

If you’re like me, it’s probably something simpler. Like time. God wants mine but exactly how do I fit him in? Doesn’t he know I’m a soccer Mom-or Dad?  There’s the kid’s ball practice, gymnastic meet, PTA meeting. And the two committees the preacher asked me to serve on. And oh yeah, my community service project too. “I really love you God, but I just can’t give up all these good things I’m doing.”

This may be life, but whatever steals my focus from the abundant life God offers must be reevaluated. Faith living is scary and involves letting go of whatever holds us back. It’s not easy, but God always gives something better to hold onto; something more satisfying than anything we give up.

Prayer: Merciful Father, prod us to relinquish our hold on things keeping us from enjoying Your best.
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